U.S.: Alternative Science and Human Reproduction

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Alternative Science and Human Reproduction

R. Alta Charo, J.D.
June 14, 2017
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1707107

Human reproduction has become the victim of alternative science, rife with alternative definitions of well-understood medical conditions and characterized by rejection of the scientific method as the standard for generating and evaluating evidence. Alternative science begins with alternative facts of the sort propounded by the Trump administration and its appointees, including Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, who has claimed that “there’s not one” woman who can’t afford birth control on her own (despite the high up-front cost of the most reliable contraceptives). Alternative science is similarly embraced by recent executive-branch appointees Valerie Huber, Teresa Manning, Charmaine Yoest, and Katy Talento.

Continued at source: New England Journal of Medicine: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1707107#t=article

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U.S.: How Anti-Abortion Zealots Pose as Medical Professionals to Trick Pregnant Women

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How Anti-Abortion Zealots Pose as Medical Professionals to Trick Pregnant Women

Callie Beusman
May 30 2017

Anti-abortion groups are opening fake clinics near actual reproductive health care providers across the country in an attempt to shame and scare women into staying pregnant.

On an overcast Saturday morning in late May, several protesters had gathered outside of Hartford GYN Center, an abortion clinic in Connecticut. Many of them were clutching rosaries, and some bore signs decorated with images of beatific infants, with the implication that similar infants were in immediate danger of being murdered. They were, by their own description, facing down "the Evil One;" later in the day, a protester would tell me that an acquaintance of hers had once seen the devil himself crouched atop a different clinic and mistaken it for a gargoyle.

Continued at source: Broadly/VICE: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/how-anti-abortion-zealots-pose-as-medical-professionals-to-trick-pregnant-women

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Miss-Information

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Miss-Information
2017 ISSUE 1, Conscience
Abortion abortion access UK
Increased scrutiny reveals the deceptions and aggressions of antiabortion activists in the UK

By Clare Murphy / Posted Apr 19, 2017

In ‘Debating Abortion on Campus,’ published in the 2016(3) issue of Conscience, Jon O’Brien eloquently made the case for why prochoice advocates should not shy away from debate, documenting the censorship of the antichoice opposition that has crept onto campuses across the United Kingdom and the United States. “In a healthy society, people aren’t afraid to discuss things. We must never be afraid of the battle of ideas,” he wrote. Indeed. So why should women accessing abortion services be an exception, shielded from the ideas and opinions of protesters on the street outside? Should they, as the respected US lawyer and social critic Wendy Kaminer has argued, have to accept that “feeling intimidated, being confronted and ‘stressed’ by people who oppose abortion rights, is sometimes the price of free speech”?

Continued at source: Conscience: http://consciencemag.org/2017/04/19/miss-information/

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Ireland: Anti-abortion clinic tells women sex and abortion could kill them

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Anti-abortion clinic tells women sex and abortion could kill them
James Wilson
April 05, 2017

Unauthorized pregnancy crisis centers in Dublin are misleading expectant women about the risks of sex, abortion and contraception.

An undercover investigation for The Times found that the Ask Majella and Gianna Care advisory services telling women that contraception was a health risk, there was a link between abortion and breast cancer and sometimes sex even lead women to “die”.

Continued at source: Irish Central: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/anti-abortion-clinic-tells-women-sex-and-abortion-could-kill-them

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UK: Anti-abortion group in tampon tax row removes death penalty comparison

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Anti-abortion group in tampon tax row removes death penalty comparison

Charity comes under criticism for receiving £250,000 from government’s tampon tax, but insists support services are unbiased and non-judgemental

by Alice Ross
Monday 3 April 2017

A charity that has been given £250,000 from the government’s so-called tampon tax fund has scrubbed language describing abortion after rape as a “death penalty” from its website after being challenged on it.

The Life charity has now said it will do a full review of its website to remove offensive language, after the Guardian pointed out that the same article referred to abortion in cases of disability as a “death sentence”.

Continued at link: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/03/anti-abortion-group-scrubs-likening-abortion-after-to-death-penalty

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Ireland: Delay in reforming abortion advice clinics is inexcusable

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Delay in reforming abortion advice clinics is inexcusable
February 21 2017, 12:01am, The Irish Times
by Brendan Howlin

Those on both sides of the issue can agree that lying to women is abuse. So why won’t Simon Harris update the law?
The abortion debate provokes strong emotions and arguments. We all recognise that and I hope we do our best to respect differences of opinion.

But there are some ground rules I thought we had all agreed on a long time ago.
One is that debate should be based on fact, not fiction. Another is that women in crisis pregnancies are entitled to support, information
and non-judgmental counselling if they want it.

Continued source: Irish Times: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/delay-in-reforming-abortion-advice-clinics-is-inexcusable-lzklrr0sj

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France to sanction ‘misleading’ anti-abortion websites

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France to sanction ‘misleading’ anti-abortion websites
The new law extends existing punishments for interfering with abortion to the internet, and offers a counterpoint to Trump.

By Natalie Huet
2/16/17

French lawmakers Thursday passed a new law sanctioning websites that aim to dissuade women from terminating a pregnancy by using “misleading claims” on abortion.

In its own controversial way, the Socialist government is offering a counterpoint to Donald Trump’s move to reinstate the U.S.’s global gag rule. A Dutch-led funding initiative to support family planning worldwide has also been gaining traction.

Continued at source: Politico: http://www.politico.eu/article/france-to-sanction-misleading-anti-abortion-websites/

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UK: Abortion does not cause cancer, group admits

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by Ellen Coyne

December 10 2016, The Times

A Catholic anti-abortion group connected to the Times investigation into crisis pregnancy agencies has admitted that abortion does not cause breast cancer.

The Good Counsel Network, which operates in Ireland and the UK, has compared abortion to terrorism, defended the Magdalene Laundries and described using contraception as an act of narcissism.

[continued at link]
Source: The Times

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France Bans Anti-Abortion Websites that Spread False Health Information

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by Sirin Kale
Dec 9 2016, Broadly

Lawmakers in the European country have just passed a bill criminalizing anti-abortion sites that lie about the medical procedure. But is it the answer?

It's been a year of misinformation and bullshit, propaganda and lies—and I'm just talking mainstream Western politics. If you believe we're living in a post-truth age, where conjecture passes for fact and supposition for orthodoxy, you're probably right—but there's a caveat. Anti-abortion activists will say pretty much anything to deny women their reproductive rights, and they always have done. After all, every day is a post-truth day in an anti-abortion activist's world.

[continued at link]
Source: Broadly

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French government moves to ban misleading anti-abortion websites

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by Safe Abortion, Dec 9

The French National Assembly has passed a law outlawing the promotion of false and misleading information about abortion on the internet, which will now go to the Senate. The text of the provision is one sentence:

“Lutte contre les pratiques de désinformation, notamment sur Internet, induisant intentionnellement en erreur ou exerçant une pression psychologique sur les femmes et leur entourage en matière d’IVG.”

(Opposition to the practice of disinformation, in particular on the Internet, of intentionally promoting errors, or intentionally putting psychological pressure on women and those close to them in the matter of abortion.)

The law would punish offenders with up to two years in prison and a €30,000 fine.

Of course, the anti-abortion movement in France is upset about it and complaining about limiting their so-called freedom of speech. But what is unclear is why they feel a need to promote false and misleading information and intimidate women in the first place. It is actually possible to be anti-abortion without using false information in your messaging, let alone trying to tell women how to live their lives.

But they haven’t stopped women having abortions, and perhaps that is why they have begun telling women lies. However, when lies can hurt people, the state has a responsibility to intervene. Companies are not permitted to lie about the contents or purpose or safety of products or medicines. So why does the anti-abortion movement think there is nothing wrong with lying to women, and by implication think there is nothing wrong with adversely affecting women’s lives?

A report in the Guardian describes the websites concerned as masquerading as neutral, appearing to offer officially approved services with a freephone helpline number but actually promoting anti-abortion propaganda and pressuring women who contact them not to terminate pregnancies. Another media source talks about the websites intimidating women seeking information about abortion services.

The president of the French Conference of Bishops has written to Prime Minister Hollande asking him to intervene to stop passage of the law and the Archbishop of Marseille has called it a violation of the principles of democracy. So do they defend telling women lies too?

“Freedom of expression should not be confused with manipulating minds,” Socialist Minister for Women’s Rights Laurence Rossignol said, as the debate kicked off last week.

François Fillon, recently chosen to stand for election next year as a candidate for a right-wing party, was accused on Europe 1 by Alain Juppé, who was running against him, of changing his stance on abortion from support for abortion as a fundamental right (stated in a book he wrote), to saying he had made a mistake and now did not approve of abortion. He also said, however, that he will not try to overturn the landmark 1975 law legalising the practice. Unfortunately, there are not as yet laws against changing your views for political advantage.

SOURCES: Le Monde, by Cécile Chambraud, 29 November 2016 ; The Guardian, by Angelique Chrisafis, 1 December 2016 ; France24, 7 December 2016 ; PHOTO

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

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